things to cherish

6 things I hated while growing up but cherish as an adult

As I reflect on my value system and all other things that make me who I am today, I feel nothing but gratitude for the lessons I learned as a child.

The lessons we learn during childhood shape us into who we become. They remain at the very core of our being, becoming the ‘window’ through which we view the world. However, the importance and significance of these lessons we realise much later in life.

Back in the day, we detested all those restrictions and rules laid out by our parents. A trip down memory lane can attest to how much we despised homework, following a strict routine, or sharing toys with others. The list is endless. With time, however, as we stepped into adulthood, we feel nothing but grateful for the childhood days that gave us so many things to cherish.

After all, without them, I wouldn’t have reached where I am today.

Today, as I revisit my childhood, there are innumerable things that I am grateful for. The set boundaries that I wasn’t allowed to cross, the curfew-like timings that I had to adhere to, and the steady sincerity that I was expected to show towards my academics—these made me feel no less than living inside a prison, especially when others were allowed to roam scot-free. But now, as I reflect on my value system and all other things that make me who I am today, I feel nothing but gratitude for those lessons that I was fortunate enough to learn early in life.

In retrospect, here are six things to cherish and be grateful for today that I hated while growing up.

Mastering discipline

Without rules, life would disintegrate into chaos. My ten-year-old self would’ve begged to disagree because children love to do what they want. But with time, we understand the reasons behind the rules, and why we should follow them.

I was raised by fairly permissible parents, who, from a young age let me voice my opinions, and in certain cases, even allowed me to make my own decisions. While there were consequences to my actions, however unfair they seemed at the time, they moulded me into a responsible human being.

Taking responsibility

We learn most of our fundamental lessons while we’re still young. Our parents, teachers, and elders instil in us values that help us move forward and succeed in life. One such lesson is to develop a sense of responsibility.

As a child, it would take a great deal of courage and maturity for me to take charge of my actions and take responsibility for the consequences, something that I learned the hard way. As a child, I would tend to shirk responsibility and pin the blame for my misfortunes on others. Even without being aware, I would end up playing the victim card, just to get an easy pass.

Let’s face it. Taking responsibility or being accountable isn’t easy, especially for children. It takes time and patience, something which children don’t have. Hence, their objection. But as adults, when we look back, we only feel gratitude for the lesson in disguise.

Practising self-control

When I was young, my parents would play a game with me. Whenever I demanded to eat a chocolate or dessert, I would be given two options. The first would be to get one right away, while the other would be to wait, finish my assignments, and then get two instead of one. As a child, even though waiting would feel like forever, the prospect of more definitely seemed tempting. Little did I know that this game was in fact a lesson in self-control. Without caring much about its significance, being asked to control my impulses, or practise patience, would often erupt in outbursts and tantrums. But looking back, I now realise self-control has in fact made me a better decision-maker.

Our daily habits form a system that affects how we work and function throughout the day.

Following a timetable

No matter how much I hated it or complained about it, abiding by a daily timetable was inescapable for me. Indeed, following a strict schedule while my mind wandered off to other places seemed almost cruel and regimental, but it did teach me something valuable—planning your day brings results, and results bring success.

Our daily habits form a system that affects how we work and function throughout the day. Be it for our professional commitments or personal chores, the benefits of following a daily routine are numerous because it helps us lead a focused and balanced life. A routine eliminates the scope for distractions and temptations, resulting in better time management and an efficient flow of work.

Sharing with others

“When you share your food and toys with everyone, everyone gets to have fun,” was something my mother repeated, day in and day out. I never quite understood the fuss over sharing, or why it brought forth heaps of adulation and appreciation from my parents. Truth be told, being the only child, I was reluctant to share anything. On birthdays and special occasions, I was always encouraged and pushed to share my treats and gifts with my friends. At that time, my young mind couldn’t grasp the significance of it, but eventually, it certainly started making me happier. It exhilarated me to think I had the power to bring a smile to someone’s face.

Practising humility

Humility is a much-needed virtue in today’s world, and one of the most admirable traits in a person. But being one of the top scorers in the class, humility was an aspect that I greatly undervalued. My naïve mind had concluded that pride and arrogance were the only prerequisites to being acknowledged by teachers and other fellow students. It was only later when my family and loved ones made me understand where my real value came from, that I was taught a lesson in humility.


How do childhood lessons influence our perspectives as adults?

The lessons learned during childhood serve as the building blocks of our values and viewpoints as adults. These formative experiences shape our understanding of the world and guide our choices and actions.

Why do children often resent rules and restrictions set by parents?

Many children dislike the boundaries and regulations imposed by their parents, such as curfews, sharing, and routine tasks. However, these rules hold valuable life lessons that contribute to character development and responsible decision-making.

How does practicing self-control as a child impact adulthood?

Developing self-control during childhood lays the foundation for emotional regulation and mature decision-making in adulthood. Overcoming impulses and practicing patience lead to improved impulse control and better choices.

What benefits arise from following a daily timetable, despite initial reluctance?

Adhering to a daily schedule, although disliked in youth, enhances time management and productivity in adulthood.


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